Reviews

  • "Portrays Holbrooke in all of his endearing and exasperating self-willed glory... Both a sweeping diplomatic history and a Shakespearean tragicomedy… Our Man not only revitalizes but in some ways reinvents the art of journalistic biography… If you could read only one book to comprehend America’s foreign policy and its quixotic forays into quicksands over the past 50 years, this would be it."

    Walter Isaacson, New York Times
  • "Rarely in recent years has a work of non-fiction so clearly, ruthlessly, compassionately shown such a prominent person’s life from the inside out. It is a masterwork about diplomacy, government and the world."

    Anand Giridharadas, Guardian, *Books of the Year*
  • "Holbrooke in all his capacious brilliance and arrogance has been captured by George Packer… [Our Man] is, I strongly feel, a classic."

    Washington Post
  • "Outstanding... Our Man is one of the most fascinating dissections of US power – its strengths and serious weaknesses – I’ve read."

    The Guardian
  • "Packer is one of the most talented non-fiction writers in the US. In his hands, a biography of a diplomat who never quite made it to the top becomes a history of modern America’s entanglement with the world."

    Gideon Rachman, Financial Times, *Books of the Year*
  • "You may ask yourself, is it worth one of the best American non-fiction writers producing a book of just under 600 pages on an arrogant and abrasive egotist whose highest sustained rank in the State Department was that of a lowly assistant secretary? The answer is unabashedly yes. This is a remarkable work about a remarkable, if deeply flawed, statesman whose career was intimately intertwined with the 50 years of American decline from Vietnam to Afghanistan. Nearly all biographies have long, boring stretches you want to skip. This one has none… A fascinating and compulsive read."

    Spectator
  • "Our Man is a great, exuberant read, gossipy and thoughtful, about a remarkable American diplomat who tried to place himself at the heart of some of the bloodiest, most intractable wars of our age: Vietnam, Bosnia and Afghanistan… Packer displays his talents as a master of narrative reconstruction."

    The Times
  • "Dazzling… an exploration of American decline that’s heartfelt, virtuosic and quietly thoughtful at the same time... Packer marshals a huge amount of material with great aplomb… His prose fizzes with almost Holbrookian levels of energy."

    Telegraph
  • "Deeply researched, compellingOur Man is not just a portrait of a fascinating historical figure, it is a contemplation of a half century of US foreign and security policy and its most intractable challenges."

    Observer
  • "[Packer] is such a masterful narrator – and Holbrooke such a vexing subject to portray – that this story is both gripping and surprisingly pacey, its wheels greased by revealing excerpts from Holbrooke's personal letters and the private reflections he recorded to tape. Added to this is Packer's arresting thesis: that his brash but erudite and driven subject symbolises something about America's engagement with the world following the Second World War that will never be recovered after Trump."

    New Statesman